Iridium Readies 2nd ‘NEXT’ Satellite Batch for June 25 Launch; Matt Desch Comments

Matt Desch

Iridium Communications has initiated final measures to prepare for the June 25 launch of the second batch of 10 Iridium NEXT satellites from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, Get Connected reported Monday.

“Once deployed, this batch of satellites will be tested and validated and inserted one-by-one into our existing constellation, replacing our original block one satellites,” said Matt Desch, CEO of Iridium and an inductee into Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 for 2017.

“After this second launch we have six more launches planned with SpaceX over the next 12 months,” Desch added.

Iridium announced in May that it advanced by four days the scheduled launch of the next set of NEXT satellites aboard a SpaceX-built Falcon 9 rocket, which was also used to deploy the initial batch of satellites in January.

The NEXT satellite constellation is designed to support Iridium’s L-band service – Certus – that will work to provide worldwide communications coverage at a speed of up to 1.4 megabits per second.

“Certus is in development right now and we plan to run beta trials in the second half of this year with an anticipated commercial launch in 2018,” Desch said.

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